1 John 1:4
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. Now just as serious as a heart attack!!! Ordinarily this introduction would be a call for your decision at the end of the Worship Service. But sometimes we all get so wrapped up with the Preaching and singing that we do not put much emphasis upon the conclusion of the message, the time of decision making. Too often we get our eyes on the clock and start worrying about the beans, or will we miss the good old boys from the other Churches at the "Stay Open All Day On Sunday" cafes.
Just briefly about Christian Joy: There are several things that need to be said about the Believer's Christian Joy that will produce a Christian's Behavior:
- Joy Defined: As Strong's Dictionary states, exceedingly, gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoicing. I would like to add my feeble opinion, the joy that brings about rejoicing is based upon an inward cause that produces an outward reaction. Roget's Thesauruses states that Joy is Heavenly!
- Joy is Divine: Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. It is possessed and given only by God. Its roots are not in earthly or material things or cheap triumphs. It is possessed and given only by God. Its roots are not in earthly or material things or cheap triumphs. It is the joy of the Holy Spirit, a joy based in the Lord.
- Joy is Dependent: John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. We depend upon God not circumstances or happiness. Joy does not depend on circumstances or feelings. Feelings depends upon happenings, but the joy that God implants in the believer's heart overrides all, even the most troublesome matters of life and death.
Now, since true joy is Dependent upon a Divine Person and not dependent upon situations or circumstances. So, today we will have the conclusion for the introduction and our sermon begins with some questions. Do you know this Divine Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Of the True and Living God as personal Savior?
1. Are You Saved?
1 John 1:3-4 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. No ones joy can be full apart from the Lord Jesus Christ filling the vacuum that is in mankind's soul, .
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Joy is mentioned in the New Testament 60 times and Luke uses the word slightly more than the other Gospel Writers. Every time Luke uses the word "JOY", he expresses some reaction around one seeing or coming to Jesus. Then in the Prophetic sense the Scripture pinpoint the climax of the Church age and the Crowning of the Savior is always associated with JOY. So now, to the basic steps of find true Christian Joy that will be you that Heavenly Feelings and you must find this JOY in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
So again are you saved? Many people do not know anything about the terminology of being saved. Many years ago, we were witnessing to one and we ask the question, "are you saved?" Their reply was, "I did not know that I was lost". And we all have heard, even since we have started this Church, some who have shown up for a few services refer to the question about salvation, in saying, "what is all this business about being saved.
Have you ever accepted Jesus Christ as Savior? Do not try to fool me, do not fool your self, because it is a fact, you do not fool God. Should I ask you if your were a citizen of America, you would come back immediately with the answer, yes or no. So, I am asking you a simply question, are you a Christian? Have you ever been born again?
Can you truthfully relate to being a Christian is defined as one that has been born again; as one who has repented from their sins and been regenerated by the HOLY SPIRIT and living as best as one can in the pattern Christ set before us.
A. This Is Life's Greatest Decision
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Relate the account that all have sinned)
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; According to the Bible, there is no question more important for anyone to face. According to your destiny, there can not be any greater question asked? It is Heaven or hell!!! It is Life or death!!! It is living under condemnation and the wrath of God being revealed upon you, or living under the umbrella of God's sheltering and safety system, His Protection and Provision.
B. This Is Life's Greatest Disobedience
Proverbs 13:15 ¶Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. We still hear from way too many that they know that they can not live a Christian life. baloney, the Lord Jesus will live the Christian life through you, when you surrender unto Him. Doesn't it stand to reason, that if the ways of those who transgress against God's Laws are living a hard life, then the way of the upright is better?
C. This Is Life's Greatest Deliverance
(Pictured in the deliverance of the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, by the Blood) The rewards of Salvation, having the Blood of Jesus Christ applied to your Soul, is JOY!
Then if you are saved, part of the rewards of Salvation is Christian JOY. Then you should join an ordained New Testament Church.
2. Are You A Church Member?
Ephes. 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Competent scholars agree that when the word "Church" is used in the New Testament as a necessity for vitality in Christian living. And it is a N. T. Doctrine, that it comes from the Greek word of "ekklesia", means a local congregation that has been called out to assembly together to Worship God and to carry on His Work.
A. Why Not?
The Church is the visible Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is Christ centered and Christ based. Everyone needs a Church, let me assure you with all confidence that there will come a time when you will need a Church, a Church family to help you through a crisis in your life. No one is immune from these days of trouble that the Psalmist wrote about in the Book.
B. Why Not This One?
Consider the history of this Church and consider the Baptist's history, which is steeped in the Biblical doctrine for any and all New Testament Churches.
The rewards of Church Membership and having the Blood of Jesus Christ applied to your Soul, is JOY!
3. Is Your Church Membership
All You Expect It To Be?
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The church visible consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children. It is called visible because its members are known and its assemblies are public. There is a mixture of, wheat and chaff, of saints and sinners. God has commanded his people to organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges, ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all together constitute the catholic or universal visible church. A credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a member of this church. (Eastman)
A. Is There A Standard?
Isaiah 62:10 ¶Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. The true definition of the standard is that there are signs along the highway to point one in the right direction. Doctrinally, this verse should be used in context that the support of those who will lift up a standard are removing some stones in your path that might cause you to stumble.
B. Is There A Separation?
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, For the Church to have a clean reputation and be separate, it is somewhat like personal separation which involves not being unequally yoked , as pointed out in verse 14 of 1st Corinthians chapter 6 and not loving the world. For example, we used to see the Missionaries go to the jungle, but now we see the jungle in the Churches. 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The rewards of your being involved in a local Church and having the Blood of Jesus Christ applied to your Soul, is JOY!
4. Are You Loyal To Your
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Can your Church count on you? Did you know that this is a requirement from God to assembly in the House of God? Even humanly speaking, one can not live successfully by forsaking the assembling as we see so many doing in these days of falling away from the need of the Church and from Her Head, the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you were an employer, would you tolerate a half time employee. Did you know that you can not serve two masters and enjoy the peace of God?
A. Rewards For Your Loyalty
There will be peace, joy and favor with God from your being loyal to the Will of God for your life.
Christian joy comes from an inner gladness; a deep seated peace. It rests in a deep assurance and is a depth of confidence in Jesus Christ, from these fact comes a cheerful Believer, which leads to cheerful Behavior.
- The Two Angels
A Jewish tradition relates that after the fall the two angels of GodJudgement and Mercywere sent forth together to do their office upon the sinning but redeemed race, and together they act to this day.
Where one afflicts, the other heals. Where one makes a rent, the other plants a flower. Where one craves a wrinkle, the other kindles a smile. Where one scowls a storm, the other spreads a rainbow. Where one poises a glittering sword, the other covers our naked head with succoring wing.
- Joy Is The Flag
Principal Rainy, of whom a child once remarked that she believed he went to Heaven every night because he was so happy every day, once used a fine metaphor about a Christian's joy. Joy, he said, is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.
These words have been made into a popular chorus.
B. Rewards For Your Loved Ones
Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? In his 1942 devotional, Abundant Living, E. Stanley Jones, writes: "The early Christians did not say in dismay: 'Look what the world has come to,' but in delight, 'Look what has come to the world.'"
The rewards of Salvation and being an active Church Member i s JOY that does not depend upon feelings or situations.
It needs so little sympathy
To cheer a weary way,
Sometimes a little kindness
Lights up a dreary day;
A very simple, friendly word
May hope and strength impart,
Or just an understanding smile
Revive some fainting heart;
And, like a sudden sunlit ray,
Lighting a darkened room,
A sunny spirit may beguile
The deepest depths of gloom.
Bro. Roger Pickett
Born In Prayer and Kept By Power